April 9-22, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 7
Back Issues
Pituitary Center brings life-changing treatment to thousands
Student health insurance plan
Headlines @ U.Va.
U.Va. marks the 261st birthday of its founder — Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in Architecture an Law
Aerospace institute becoming a reality in Hampton
Online applications aid admissions process
Fatton: No ray of hope for native Haiti
Grossman enters new world of responsibility
Women’s Center to honor Arizona’s trailblazing Gov. Janet Napolitano
Artist explores DNA and difference in
‘ Jefferson Suites’
Nobel Prize-winning poet
Seamus Heaney to read April 19
Roaming Rome, Wylie focuses on material and light
Headlines @ U.Va.

Putting the Steel City on the couch
Times are tough in Pittsburgh. There are city financial problems, businesses shuttering, layoffs and gloomy weather. Even the once-proud Steelers and Penguins are struggling. When the local newspaper declared that Pittsburghers were depressed, it called U.Va. psychology professor Gerald Clore for a therapy session. He found a surfeit of unfocused bad feelings that spill over into everything. “There are perhaps too many reasons to be dispirited to keep tabs on. As a result, what might have been emotional disappointment about something in particular has become generalized negative mood.” His prescription? Don’t take it personally, Pittsburgh, and focus on solving each problem individually. — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 29

Will budget spat shut down state? Maybe, maybe not
The June 30 end of Virginia’s budget year is still almost three months away, but people are already wondering aloud what will happen if no budget is passed by then. The state constitution has no specific provision addressing such circumstances; not surprisingly, opinions vary as to what will happen. Law professor A.E. Dick Howard, who helped draft the current state constitution in 1970, is telling anyone who asks that, while some services may indeed be discontinued, the governor could maintain “core services” without a budget in place. — Washington Post, March 23; Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 25

At odds over pace of glacial retreat
Environmental sciences professor Patrick J. Michaels has long been a controversial figure in the global warming debate. While he doesn’t doubt the phenomenon exists, he decries what he sees as alarmism on the part of some scientists. The latest skirmish is over Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, which has seen its ice cap steadily shrink. The journal Michaels edits recently trumpeted a study that suggested the glacial retreat, even if caused by global warming, may be within a natural range. “The question is, why is this alarming?” Michaels said. “Aside from the initial shock value of the notion that human beings can change the climate, why is this such a story?” — New York Times, March 23

‘False report’ dogs professor
Imagine your name attached to one of those e-mails that gets endlessly forwarded around cyberspace. James Kauffman, professor emeritus of education, doesn’t need to imagine it. Somehow, he has been pegged as the author of a well-traveled epistle lampooning radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger — specifically, her Bible-based condemnation of homosexuality. The letter cites other Biblical injunctions against commonly accepted practices, asking, for instance, if a prohibition against touching the skin of a dead pig means playing football is a no-no. “I wish I could take credit for writing the letter,” Kauffman writes in his standard reply to those who query him about “his” note, “but, alas, I cannot. ‘Thou shalt not raise a false report’ (Exodus 23:1).” — Associated Press, March 21

Panel: Teens hard-wired for religion
It probably comes as no shock to say that religious adolescents fare better than their peers on many measures of healthy behavior. What may be surprising is that a panel of distinguished academics commissioned by the Dartmouth University Medical School found that teens are “hard-wired to connect” to people and God. “Their brains are changing, their relations with family, friends and the opposite sex are changing, and they’re beginning to figure out what their purpose in the world will be,” said sociology professor Brad Wilcox, a panel member. “We know that people often turn to God in the midst of momentous changes. Adolescents are no different.” — Washington Post, March 21


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